The residents of Sherigu-Kumbilingo, in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region, have unanimously threatened to boycott the upcoming District Level Elections and 2024 general elections if the government fails to connect the community to the national grid.
Since independence, residents of the farming community have continued to sleep in total darkness after electricity was extended to the Upper East Region in September 1992. As a result, community members say social and economic activities in the community are largely affected.
“The lack of electricity in the community is affecting the standards of education of our wards. The children want to learn at night, but because of the situation, they can’t learn,” Carolina Akasoh, a mother, lamented.
Another woman from the community, Azoneere Apelesum Rebecca said some women in the community have refrigerators that could enable them to trade, but the lack of access to electricity is affecting the economic activities of the residents.
According to a businessman, Akolgo Akay, some of the community members could have ventured into all-year-round farming through drilled mechanised boreholes “but when you drill a borehole and without light, you can’t mechanise it”
The absence of electricity has compelled the residents of about 1,000 people to rely on lanterns and torchlights for domestic, social, and livelihood activities. Out of the 10 communities that form the Kumbilingo electoral area, only parts of two communities in the electoral area are connected to the national grid.
Even though electrical poles were mounted in some areas, the poles continue to rot with no source of power flowing through them. It was against this backdrop that the disgruntled community members say the situation has adversely affected the education of their wards.
Addressing the press, Secretary of the Abotesugere Youth Bolga Sherigu, Peter Akolbila, lamented that successive governments have paid lip service to the plight of the community.
“We will not even talk of the other smaller political parties, but will solely vent our emotions on the two major political parties; NPP and NDC that they have failed us. They have not been faithful enough. However, it is not too late for them to redeem their images.”
The community members of the Kumbilingo electoral area expressed regrets that the MCE for Bolgatanga, Rex Asanga, the MP, Isaac Adongo, and the Assembly Member for Kumbilingo electoral, Stephen Akugre who are conversant of their plight, only give them “empty reassurances whenever we approach them”
While calling on the government to come to their aid, the residents of Sherigu-Kumbilingo have threatened to boycott the upcoming District Level Election and the 2024 national election if the government fails to listen to their plea by connecting the community to the national grid.
“We are therefore, by this press statement, declaring that if nothing is done about the issues raised above, we will not, and I repeat, we will not, take part in the upcoming Assembly Elections as well as the 2024 general elections.”
The community members also mentioned the deplorable nature of the bridges that link the communities and an uncompleted dam, among other things affecting their livelihood.
Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Kumbilingo|Ghana